How to Navigate the Early Days of a New Ministry Position

You’re starting a new job, which brings with it new responsibilities and exciting opportunities. First impressions are everything, so make sure to let everyone know you take the job seriously from day one to set you off on the right foot. Start as you mean to go on by setting a high standard for yourself.

Chris Holland
April 13, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

Getting settled in new environments can be daunting and nerve-wracking – we have all been there! But don’t worry. If you follow these top tips, you will fit in and be ready to make a difference in no time. Embrace the change, and grow with the new role.

Get to Know the Ministry

Getting to know the ministry and it's leaders

Before you can do anything to help the ministry you are here to serve, you need to get to know the ins and outs of the church. Can you sum up their central beliefs and mission in a sentence? If not, it’s time to dig deeper to get a more thorough understanding of your people. Every church has a unique culture and way of doing things – the sooner you understand it, the better.

The best way to do this is by communicating with everyone you can. But most importantly, listen. Make an effort to immerse yourself in life at your ministry and actively listen to build bonds with the people of your community. 

To have something valuable to say, first, you will need to truly listen. While you may sometimes have useful tips to share from your previous job, don’t over-focus on how you used to do things.

Make an Effort to Socialize

Socializing with a group of friends

Though ministry positions and their responsibilities may vary, one thing remains the same. The congregation and church workers will be intrigued by their new leader. Be proactive upon arrival and plant the seeds for meaningful relationships in your first few weeks. Don’t wait for members to seek you out.

Whether you organize a potluck dinner or send an open invitation for people to join you for coffee, the choice is yours. But making a special effort to let your community know that you want to get to know them will go a long way. Christian ministry jobs are best led by warm and friendly people, so show this side of yourself from the beginning.

Clearly Set Expectations

Man talking to his ministry leaders

Friction can arise in any workplace when you don't set boundaries or clearly outline expectations. You will know where you stand when you make it a priority to outline what is required of you. This way, you can let other church workers know what you need from them. Communication is crucial, so remove any obstacles before they arise with mutual understanding.

But, not everything can be decided in the first few weeks, so don’t rush more complex decisions just to set a clear expectation. Instead, focus on the day-to-day running of things with questions like, “What is expected of me in meetings?”, “What are my responsibilities?”, “When does the day start and end?”, “How many meetings should I plan per day?”

Self-Evaluate and Adjust

Man in deep thought

Starting a new leadership role means learning how to be most effective for the team you lead and the community you serve. Sometimes, the behavioral patterns and habits we developed in a previous role simply don’t translate over to the new environment. You must adapt to your people and take the opportunity to grow as a leader and as a person.

After several weeks, why not complete a self-evaluation to see where you have room for improvement? Taking the time to reflect on things you have excelled in and areas that you could improve isn’t always easy. But with an objective mindset and a genuine desire to do more for God, your church, and your community, you will get there. 

Observe and Take Notes

Woman taking notes

Take notes of the important information that people share with you – you will thank us later. This will show them that you are listening while providing you with a useful resource to refer back to in stressful or uncertain situations. Plus, it will save you from asking the same questions over and over again.

Invest in a quality pocket-sized notebook and a mini matching pen so whenever the opportunity arises, you can jot down a few vital notes. Whether it’s information about potential problems you might encounter or passwords for computers, having a detailed notebook will help you more than you could imagine. 

Jobs in ministry, both in kid min and leadership roles, are a great opportunity to get closer to God while serving Him. Fulfilling your duty to share the word of the Bible with your community will shine a light on your faith. Do it well, and you could strengthen your relationship with Jesus. Show up to work every day to the best of your ability, with energy and positivity, and your work will not go unnoticed. 

When you put the people of your community first by leading them with love and understanding, the world will reward you. Strive to better yourself and your leadership skills every day to be effective in your new ministry position. Listen carefully, engage meaningfully, and build bonds with the members of your congregation and fellow church workers alike. Make the most out of this new opportunity by giving it your all.

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